Turquoise waters, soft and blue, stretched out to a distant horizon. An unperturbed ocean lapped steadily along sandy shores. The faintest of breezes murmured over the morning calm. Distant palms on a slight hill gently swayed in an offshore breeze. Pastel clouds of soft grays and powder blues painted the sky. A temporary pause in the rain brought stunning views as I pedaled my way up the hidden gem that is Taiwan’s east coast. I caught a glimpse of it just out of the corner of my eye. The slivers of sand on a solitary beach glimpsed between the trees of to my right. Fleeting bits of solitude such as these are to be savored and not passed by.
My bike glided off the highway onto a narrow trail wandering toward the strand. Gradually rolling to a stop, I dismounted the bike and ambled softly through the wet grass the last dozen or so meters to the shore. Crisp morning air chilled the sweat on my neck and brow. The salty smell of seawater became more intense as I approached the water’s edge.
At the waterside, there was not another soul around. Sweet solitude. The world seemed so far away. There was no loneliness to be found here. I cast my eyes across the greenish-blue water to the horizon. Places like this make it easy to fall into the vastness of the world. It’s the Taiwan Strait, I thought. Mainland China lies on the other side of the sea. On a bicycle, Earth is a big place. Is it possible to see it all? I skipped a pebble into the surf.
Water lapping on shifting sand lulled me into a kind of standing meditation. The seclusion was excellent and the journey sweet. I thought about things, places, and times. There is a unique peace to be found standing on this deserted beach. Experiencing places like this is why I travel. On my bike, I endeavor to find these quiet spots where no one goes.
The moment passed, the magic was gone. Only the suggestion of rain hung heavy in the air. As troubled storm clouds roiled to the north, the morning sun rose at my back, and a few slivers of warm light to the south promised a better day. Turning away from the sea, I walked back to my bike and pedaled on. Other deserted beaches await further down the road.
The freedom and wonder of the open road are calling. When will you go?